Photo taken by Zachary Sgro

Lansing aiming to be “vibrant, walkable”

Lansing is best known for being the capital of Michigan, but, it’s also the location for numerous businesses and companies. But for many it seems as though the city is not their home, opting for longer commutes to work as opposed to living in the city. A majority of the restaurants and bars in the area close before dinner time only offering regular hours for late night food and drink during the weekend. Smaller niche businesses pepper the city and keep consistent crowds and regular customers at night while the Lansing Lugnuts provide mid to late day entertainment, but neither has been enough to revitalize the city. “We need a vibrant, walkable urban area that is cool and attractive to all walks of life,” said Scott Gillespie, president of Gillespie Company.

Lansing Township is 'not the smallest but not the biggest' amongst other townships in Michigan according to Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes. 
Photo by Madison Job

Lansing Township “not the smallest but not the biggest”

According to 2015 Census data, Lansing Township has a total of 8,145 people. The township is made up of both urban and suburban islands of about 4.93 square miles of land. Amongst the 1,242 other townships in Michigan, Supervisor Diontrae Hayes of Lansing Township said “it’s not the smallest but not the biggest.” Still, it’s getting bigger in some ways. “Lansing Township is unique with its new construction and new businesses,” Hayes said.

Construction outside on the new L.O. Eye Care

A new business opening in the Marsh Road plaza

Construction on the new L.O. Eye Care, located at 5100 Marsh Rd., is going slower than expected. The new location opening on March 31, in Okemos presents other business opportunities for the surrounding businesses in the Marsh Road plaza. “We did run into an issue with a design component of the new office and after spending a couple of weeks trying to find a way to achieve the look we desired, the plan had to be altered,” said Lisa Rentz, who is ahead of the construction progress of the new L.O. Eye Care center in Okemos. “This resulted in a slight delay in our original timeline,” 

Rentz is the director of marketing for every L.O. Eye Care location in Michigan. “We have 11 other locations including two in East Lansing and one in Williamston as well,” said Rentz.

The golf course is now used for low impact recreational purposes for the township.
Photo by Madison Job

No signs of re-development for Lansing Township’s Waverly Golf Course

Currently, there are no plans underway showing signs of re-development for the now-empty lot that was once the Waverly Golf Course. Due to a zoning moratorium expiring in Lansing Township, the 120-acre property owned by the City of Lansing closed in 2007. The lot is now a “single-family residential area,” according to Sam Schultz, who is the township planner in Lansing Township. “Currently, it is used as recreation space and it would have to be re-zoned if anything was to be done,” Schultz said. “If zoning was re-done, it could be used for only the options under the township ordinances which involve low resident intensity like churches or public parks and playgrounds.”

Holly Madill who is the outreach specialist for the Michigan State University Land Policy Institute and Planning & Zoning Center provided information on zoning moratoriums from the Michigan State University Extension.